Keep campus healthy by being vaccinated

Jada Hoffman

On Nov. 26, 2018, at 4:07 p.m., the Lewis community received an unexpected. There was one confirmed case of the mumps on campus.

Mumps is a viral infection that affects the salivary glands, which is preventable with the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine. Symptoms include swollen and painful salivary glands, fever, fatigue, headaches and appetite loss.

After confirmed cases began to double and then triple, it became mandatory for students, faculty and staff to submit proof of vaccination or they would not be allowed on campus. However, students still wondered: if it was mandatory to get vaccinated, how are mumps being spread on campus?

Dana Schwarting, who has been the track and field head coach for 16 years, said, “Vaccines should be mandatory because the rest of population is in danger of getting sick.” He continued, “In European countries, it’s mandatory and they never have outbreaks.”

Despite this line of thinking, many feel as though it violates one’s personal liberty. In 1879, the Anti-Vaccination Society of America was founded. They attempted to repeal vaccination laws in states including California, Illinois and Wisconsin. However, the Supreme Court ruled that regardless of any given excuse, such as religious practice, it is not fair to expose the community to any diseases. 

The anti-vaccination movement that has gained popularity is another way of individuals wanting to have control over their lives, which is understandable. However, a line must be drawn when the public’s health is at risk. It is essential for people to understand that vaccinations go through extensive research and trials to ensure their effectiveness. In the early 1900s, child vaccinations prevented over 100 million diseases. Numbers like these are not debatable. 

Although people may believe they know their body better than anyone else, scientists know diseases and bacteria more than the average human being. 

Alecea Cardillo, a freshman majoring in marketing, feels the same way. “It has been proven that vaccinations work and although personal liberty is important, the chances of getting others sick is more serious,” said Cardillo.

Lewis is not the only university who is suffering. Other Illinois campuses such as Columbia College Chicago and Loyola University had outbreaks as well.

People must understand that getting the vaccination is not always going to prevent certain viruses. Making it mandatory is just playing it safe.

Katelyn Martin, an athletic trainer at Lewis said, “just as everyone’s body responds differently to medicine, vaccines work the same way.” 

Vaccinations should be mandatory. Having free will is limited once others are put at risk. Lewis University made a smart decision making it mandatory for records to be shown and vaccines to be given. 

No one wants to be sick with mumps for two to three weeks, so get vaccinated and continue practicing good hygiene.